My Christmas tree is still up

My Christmas tree is still up. I know — It is the first day of the new year, and it’s time to take the decorations and lights down and get on with life.

My Christmas tree is still up. I know -- It is the first day of the new year, and it's time to take the decorations and lights down and get on with life. However, Christmas isn't over until after January 6th, when we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. The 12 Days of Christmas is the title of a song...However, Christmas isn’t over until after January 6th, when we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.

The 12 Days of Christmas is the title of a song we know. Still, it refers to the period between Christmas Day, when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, to Epiphany, when they mark his manifestation ? “incarnation,” in some Christian traditions.

In some places, the day is known as “Three Kings Day” after the wise men, or Magi, who, the Bible says, brought the infant gifts and proclaimed him the Son of God. The revelation is called Epiphany or the unveiling or finding God in the flesh (the baby Jesus in the manger).

The three Kings were from three different countries, India, Persia, and Babylon. They were magicians, the Biblical Magi, and astrologers who provided advice on the mysteries of life. They were consuls to the kings, not kings themselves.

They studied the stars and connected the dots to the ancient writings that would direct them to a king. Then, when the star appeared, they recognized it and followed it.

Their journey brought them to Herod the Great, King of Judea. But he was not the King they were looking for, so they continued faith until they found the baby Jesus.

The gifts they brought to commemorate the King of the Jews were; gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God.

The Magi are a perfect example of knowing what you know, believing what you believe, and doing what you need to do.

The first whole week of January usually means business as usual. For some, it’s a significant relief. But for others, it’s like coming down from the high after the “most wonderful time of the year” (and the inevitable return to work) can bring on a bout of the post-holiday blues.

It is not unusual to have a bit of a slump or depression that can hit hard after a period of intense emotion and stress. Post-holiday blues share many of the same characteristic symptoms of an anxiety or mood disorder: insomnia, low energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and anxiousness.

We feel down because we fill our schedules with social events during December, only to have virtually nothing in January. In addition, spending time with family can leave us with mixed feelings, and holidays tend to bring up memories of those no longer with us or those with whom we no longer have a relationship.

Our Christmas was so busy that I had very few quiet days to feel the presence of Christ in my Christmas. Of course, I loved every moment of the holidays (except for the driving), but I was glad when the busyness ended.

This week I have let my heart be quiet and reflected on the sweet memories of being with our families. I’ve thanked God for the safe travels and the strangers we encountered and fellowshipped along the way.

One of the fascinating aspects of the wise men’s story is searching diligently for Jesus. It was not easy for them to locate Him. They were looking for royalty. But he was not at the royal palace. However, they did not give up until they found the baby Jesus in a Manger.

When the Magi learned they might find Jesus in Bethlehem after traveling so long, they could have gathered all the critical information for Herod and determined the facts to make their reports when they returned home.

Instead, when they found Jesus, the gospel tells us they worshiped Him. They had a dream that warned them not to return home the same way so they would not encounter Herod and tell him where the baby Jesus was. They listened and obeyed.

We can stop and worship him when we realize we have missed our time with God. And when we do that, he will show us that he was with us all along by reminding us of the love we shared, the kindness of strangers, and the true joy we felt and gave to others.

So, if you need more time to enjoy the holidays, don’t worry. The hustle and bustle are over, the money has been spent on gifts, and now, relax.

Read the Christmas stories all over again. Start from the birth of Jesus to the unveiling of God in the flesh (the baby Jesus in the manger) with The Three Kings.

My dear friend in Georgia leaves her Christmas tree up all year long. She turned her small office into a Christmas room with a tree decorated with beautiful lights and ornaments. She fills her office with books, Christmas art pieces, and music that she can walk into anytime she wants to feel the magic of Christmas.

“It makes me feel good, she told me. And it reminds me that I can keep the spirit of love and faith in my heart all year long.”





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Deana Landers
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I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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